True Size Of UK’s Migrant Population ‘Unknown’— Research

True size of UK's migrant population 'unknown' – research

Published by Jon Land for
Wednesday 15th April 2009 – 12:17pm

A third of the migrant workers in the UK are unregistered but they are not taking jobs from British people, according to research published by the University of Salford.

Government statistics show that there are 760,935 migrant workers registered in the UK but the academics estimate that there are at least another 253,645 not officially recognised, that are filling job vacancies that wouldnt be taken up by British workers.

The focus of the report is based on research carried out in Bolton but the researchers believe the trends are replicated nationwide.

With the true figure of migrant workers in the UK unknown to the Government, the report warns that local councils are unlikely to be able provide the resources needed to support these communities.

Professor Andy Steele, Professor of Housing and Urban Studies at Salford, said: Despite the current UK unemployment figures, the report shows that migrant workers werent taking jobs from British workers, as generally they are filling skills gaps that already exist.

“There are a lot of low skilled vacancies around that these migrant workers fill.

Around a third of migrant workers in this study werent on Government databases so the actual size of the migrant worker population in Bolton is actually a lot bigger than the statistics show. One in 10 migrant workers, for example, works for cash in hand so they wouldnt be registered.

Service provision is based on the official Government figures so they would actually have a lot more people needing the services than they would be able to provide for. This is a national issue and is common across the UK, not just Bolton.

The aim of the study was to look at the experiences of migrant worker groups to develop better recordings of the nationalities of people that come to the UK.